Date: 12 May 2011

Potassium-ion-selective sensing based on selective reflection of cholesteric liquid crystal membranes

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It is well-known that cholesteric liquid crystals have an optical property, selective reflection, due to changes in the pitch of their helical structure. This unique property of cholesteric liquid crystals can be used to attain a visual sensing system showing color changes as the detection signal. In this paper, we report a visual sensing membrane comprising cholesteric liquid crystals, in which a 15-crown-5 derivative was incorporated as ion recognizing sites, for K+ in aqueous solution. The resulting CLC membrane showed a shift of the reflection peak sensitive to K+ in water. We have also designed polymer-dispersed liquid crystal membranes that showed ion-selective reflection peak shifts with improved response time.